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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-04-13, 08:50 PM   #101
vins0010
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I used to be a roadie, but ended up selling that bike and just getting an old steel commuter (and a mountain bike for winter) for more utility use. I was in the best shape when I was commuting about 20 miles a day, five days a week. I wasn't racing, but it was easy to go fast, doing that everyday and trying to be timely in getting to work. Over time, I really built up into going at quite a clip, more so than I ever really did as a (half-hearted) roadie just trying to get in my ride and no particular destination other than the ride. One time, it started raining hard and I had my work laptop in my pannier back with a garbage bag as a makeshift cover. I was highly motivated to really haul even more than usual as I was worried about my computer. I passed some kitted out roadies along the way who also got stuck in this sudden storm. They took my passing them as a challenge to catch up with me but were not able to...at least not on the few miles I had at the end of my route. I felt a little silly but refused to slow down because I was worried about my computer. I think they felt silly being passed by someone with a huge garbage bag fluttering in the wind. I'm not in as good a shape since I bought a house 1.5 miles from work.
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Old 10-07-13, 02:40 PM   #102
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Just one question. If the guy who did that to you had been on a road bike, would it have annoyed you just as much?
Yes, the bike he was on had nothing to do with it. It was simply that he felt the need to work hard to pass me at a light when it turned green, then slowed down considerably once he got in front of me in an area I could not safely pass. Road bike, folding bike, electric bike, running, whatever, this would annoy me.

Its basically the same as if a car was at a red light on a road with one lane going in that direction, and when the light turned green another car behind that went into the shoulder and floored it to get ahead of a the first car, then slowed down to half the speed limit once they got in front of that other car. Its just inconsiderate.

I have been in many similar situations where I got passed, by road bikes, commuters, etc. like this but it didn't bother me as they kept up a reasonable pass, not forcing me to ride coast or ride my brakes behind them. Even this morning I got passed by mountain bike commuter who was peddling hard (going over 20 mph) but he kept up the pace so it didn't bother me.

I have found most other bikers on my commute to be more polite then the guy last week and not pass at a light if they expect they will be slower then you. I have no problem letting someone pass me (and trying to make it easier/safer) if they are faster then I am.
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Old 10-07-13, 02:46 PM   #103
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I used to be a roadie, but ended up selling that bike and just getting an old steel commuter (and a mountain bike for winter) for more utility use. I was in the best shape when I was commuting about 20 miles a day, five days a week. I wasn't racing, but it was easy to go fast, doing that everyday and trying to be timely in getting to work. Over time, I really built up into going at quite a clip, more so than I ever really did as a (half-hearted) roadie just trying to get in my ride and no particular destination other than the ride. One time, it started raining hard and I had my work laptop in my pannier back with a garbage bag as a makeshift cover. I was highly motivated to really haul even more than usual as I was worried about my computer. I passed some kitted out roadies along the way who also got stuck in this sudden storm. They took my passing them as a challenge to catch up with me but were not able to...at least not on the few miles I had at the end of my route. I felt a little silly but refused to slow down because I was worried about my computer. I think they felt silly being passed by someone with a huge garbage bag fluttering in the wind. I'm not in as good a shape since I bought a house 1.5 miles from work.
I am commuting on a road bike because I had that and a mountain bike, so it was better suited for the task, but I would not call myself a hard core roadie at all - its a decent bike, but not carbon and about 10 years old now. I actually am planning to get a new bike steel bike that will be more versatile for commuting and other uses. This may slow me down a bit, but I agree that speed is really only important for me to get to work a bit faster and maybe to improve my workout.
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Old 10-08-13, 03:08 PM   #104
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I've only got one bike, a CF roadie and I only have roadie kit. I commute in my roadie gear wearing a backpack with my work clothes. Work has a shower, so getting sweaty isn't a concern. I'm usually the one doing the passing (with an 'on your left' or 'good morning' to each passee), but I was blown away by a guy in full team gear on an S-Works Tarmac a few months back. I was doing about 21mph up a very slight rise and he came around me without so much as a 'Hi'. I figured I'd drop my head and see if I could spin up to match him. Nope.

I was just about 25-26mph and he was still pulling away when I gave up, knowing I still had another small climb before I got to work AND a ride home that has about 1000' of vertical. That guy was MOVING.
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Old 10-08-13, 04:00 PM   #105
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I've only got one bike, a CF roadie and I only have roadie kit. I commute in my roadie gear wearing a backpack with my work clothes. Work has a shower, so getting sweaty isn't a concern. I'm usually the one doing the passing (with an 'on your left' or 'good morning' to each passee), but I was blown away by a guy in full team gear on an S-Works Tarmac a few months back. I was doing about 21mph up a very slight rise and he came around me without so much as a 'Hi'. I figured I'd drop my head and see if I could spin up to match him. Nope.

I was just about 25-26mph and he was still pulling away when I gave up, knowing I still had another small climb before I got to work AND a ride home that has about 1000' of vertical. That guy was MOVING.
Despite the "geek-hunting" bravado of Joey et al there are an awful lot of guys in my area who can rocket up my final 600 foot morning climb at 25+ mph. ~70 kg on an ~8 kg bike with an ft* of 4.3+ is so far removed from 99.999% of commuters that it's not even an interesting comparison.

*http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/wp-co...rprofiling.jpg

Last edited by spare_wheel; 10-08-13 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 10-08-13, 06:20 PM   #106
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Despite the "geek-hunting" bravado of Joey et al there are an awful lot of guys in my area who can rocket up my final 600 foot morning climb at 25+ mph. ~70 kg on an ~8 kg bike with an ft* of 4.3+ is so far removed from the 99.999% of commuters that it's not even an interesting comparison.

*http://www.cyclingtipsblog.com/wp-co...rprofiling.jpg
Very true, but I don't usually see those guys on an 8am commute on a busy road. If I join a local 6:30am Wed club ride, sure, there are lots of fast guys/gals there.
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Old 10-08-13, 06:37 PM   #107
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I pass roadies all the time but they were probably out doing 50 miles while I was doing 15 so meh.
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Old 10-08-13, 09:41 PM   #108
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Very true, but I don't usually see those guys on an 8am commute on a busy road. If I join a local 6:30am Wed club ride, sure, there are lots of fast guys/gals there.
I'm sure at least a couple turn off and head to the office.
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Old 10-08-13, 10:46 PM   #109
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I'm sure at least a couple turn off and head to the office.
I'm sure. That's what I've been doing.

I take clothes and a towel in the day before an early meet-up and leave the backpack at work. Then do the early group ride and head to work. Pack it all up in the afternoon and ride home.
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Old 10-08-13, 11:16 PM   #110
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The thing about passing other riders is you have no idea whether the other rider is pushing it or on a recovery ride, or just winding down after a 60-mile ride, or has tired legs from riding 100 miles the day before or 250 miles the previous week. If it makes you feel good about passing a roadie, then go ahead and gloat, but the reason might have nothing to do with your relative fitness or speed.
Does not matter one bit. What matters is that, no matter what has transpired in the hours or minutes beforehand, Spandex(R) clad geeks HATE getting passed by anyone not all geeked out. I care not for their pre-pass antics. The fact that it hurts them makes me want to pass them. Yes, I have a mean streak. Sue me. My self esteem gets elevated by climbing over the self esteem of the so called "racers" while wearing "civilian" clothes - preferably on my commuter with panniers and a front basket. Feels even better than my wife telling me "You were right".
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Old 10-08-13, 11:24 PM   #111
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I commute in full spandex on a carbon bike
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Old 10-08-13, 11:36 PM   #112
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I commute in full spandex on a carbon bike
You're from the West Coast. You are forgiven.
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Old 10-09-13, 05:01 AM   #113
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Years ago my wife, me and my then 13 year-old son were doing the Lance Armstrong charity ride. That year it was a figure eight; fifty milers did one loop, hundred milers did the whole figure eight, starting and ending on the fifty mile loop. We were doing the fifty.

"Ahem", we didn't pass very many people but many people passed us, until we were sort of alone and the sag wagon crews all looked at us with concerned expressions as they passed. On the second half of the loop, the returning spandex-clad 100 milers began to fly close by us, roadies all, in dense packs....... "whizwhizwhizwhizwhiiiiizwhiwhiwhizzz".

At one point I looked back and here comes Lance hisself, riding alone at a moderate pace (perhaps he was off his meds). Passing us he slowed down, looked concerned and asked if we were doing OK.

The moral of that story being we have looked back and actually found ourselves in front of Lance Armstrong while riding

We did make the finish line with only minutes to spare, and my son got his new bike as promised, the same one I commute on today.

Mike
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Old 10-09-13, 09:25 AM   #114
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Years ago my wife, me and my then 13 year-old son were doing the Lance Armstrong charity ride. That year it was a figure eight; fifty milers did one loop, hundred milers did the whole figure eight, starting and ending on the fifty mile loop. We were doing the fifty.

"Ahem", we didn't pass very many people but many people passed us, until we were sort of alone and the sag wagon crews all looked at us with concerned expressions as they passed. On the second half of the loop, the returning spandex-clad 100 milers began to fly close by us, roadies all, in dense packs....... "whizwhizwhizwhizwhiiiiizwhiwhiwhizzz".

At one point I looked back and here comes Lance hisself, riding alone at a moderate pace (perhaps he was off his meds). Passing us he slowed down, looked concerned and asked if we were doing OK.

The moral of that story being we have looked back and actually found ourselves in front of Lance Armstrong while riding

We did make the finish line with only minutes to spare, and my son got his new bike as promised, the same one I commute on today.
Nice story! You guys even got to talk with Lance himself!
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Old 10-10-13, 01:40 PM   #115
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It's only a race if I'm winning
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